Spud – Daisy and I think it is very unfair that we never get to go and see all these lovely houses you all go off to all the time.
Russell – Oh Spud, well you did go to The Hollies in Stedham and have a lovely explore around the common land there and you went to another property with Daisy, where you met the owner’s lovely Labrador.
Spud – Yes but although we know the great walks around the areas where we live and lots of lovely spots along The South Downs and The Hangers, we are not so familiar with the area south of The Downs, do you think there is any chance we could come with you to explore that area more?
William – Well Spud you have been to Buster Hill and Daisy you have explored The Queen Elizabeth Country Park lots of times! But I tell you what, I will give you an idea of how lovely it is in that part of the world and I am sure that when the opportunity arises you will get a chance to see for yourselves.
One of the first villages you come to south of Petersfield is Buriton with its charming church and large pond, it is a very tranquil place which backs onto The Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This has over 2000 acres of woodland and downland to enjoy with play areas for children, bbq & venues for hire, a café & gift shop and on the weekend of 15 & 16 November they are holding CaniX event.
Spud – what is that?
Harriet – Well Spud and Daisy I think you would both enjoy it. It is an event where you run with your dog!
Spud and Daisy – Yippee! Can we do it?
Square – only if you guys do all the running!
William – Continuing south you will drive through charming villages such as Chalton and Finchdean and may notice a change in the architectural style. The traditional building materials in the villages surrounding Petersfield is a local stone called ‘clunch’ a good example of which can be seen at Pococks in Hawkley, but going further south you see many examples of flint and brick walls.
A fine example of this is Seymour House near Blendworth. This is the eastern wing of Cadlington House, a Grade II listed country house which was divided into three homes in 2008/9 and as you can see from the photograph tiny and very sharp pieces of flint have been inserted into the mortar between the larger flints. This is a technique called galleting which local folklore says was to keep the witches away.
Approaching the village you can see the vineyards of the Hambledon winery where they make some excellent English sparkling wines. If you continue west you come to Meonstoke, Exton and Droxford amongst the pretty villages benefiting from the proximity of the River Meon, a wonderfully crystal clear chalk stream with some excellent trout fly fishing.
Heading back towards Petersfield you cannot miss Buster Hill, part of the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This local landmark is famous for hosting the annual Busterfest an alcohol and drug free music festival which has been running for 8 years. Also The Butser Hill Challenge which includes events for youngsters as well as the senior event of a 5 mile run. The views from the top are well worth the climb!
Also not many people know this but Buster Hill was location for the filming of the hang gliding scene in the famous Only Fools and Horses episode!
Daisy – aren’t we lucky to have so many great places only minutes from Petersfield!
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